Weydon School Pond Building Begins

This year sees the beginning of a new GCSE Geography course for students at Weydon School. The students will sit the very same exams as all the other Geography students at the end of the course but it is designed to be taught quite differently to better cater for the range of special educational needs and other challenges several of the students face.

In particular, the course is designed to be a little more outdoors and active, which is possible when you only have 16 students enrolled compared to the 216 students on the main course!  The students need to complete a physical geography investigation as part of the course and we decided to investigate whether it is possible to create a small scale ecosystem from scratch by building a pond.

Over the last 10 weeks a team of 5 students helped Mr Bingham, Head of Humanities to select a suitable site on a piece of unused land behind one of the buildings on the Weydon School site.  They had to excavate a shallow hole, line it with sand, cover it in a pond liner and secure this down using the excavated soil.  Since building the pond they’ve seen Storm Ciara and Storm Dennis fill up the pond and see the humble beginnings of a small-scale pond ecosystem!  The students want to see whether plants and animals will colonise the new pond without their direct involvement (i.e. planting and introducing species) - having studied in the classroom the methods with which species may do this.  During the rest of their course they will conduct regular sampling and surveying of the pond to determine whether plants and animals are living in or using the pond. This will primarily be through pond dipping but there will also be a motion sensing camera to record wildlife that visit the pond.  Over time the hope is that these students and others taking Geography and Biology will be able to track the development of the pond into a wildlife haven.

Mr Bingham commented; “I have been really impressed with the students’ enthusiasm for Geography since starting the course and how involved they have become with the pond project.  Not only will it enhance their understanding of ecosystems but it also teaches them the value of supporting British wildlife.  We’re really looking forward to seeing if any plants and animals colonise the new pond.”

For prospective parents wishing to find out more about the opportunities at Weydon School, come and visit our ‘School In Action’ on Wednesday 25th March.  Please go to the ‘visiting us’ section on our website : www.weydonschool.surrey.sch.uk